When you think of go-to destinations for authentic ramen, you probably picture cities like New York or Tokyo. But in recent years, ramen has been increasingly popping up all over Baton Rouge, too. Now, Government Street has its very own ramen restaurant: Boru.
The new restaurant and bar, housed in Electric Depot next to City Roots, held its soft opening in late October. It is the brainchild of brothers Ronnie Wong (of frequent Best of 225 Award winner Ichiban Sushi Bar & Grill) and Patrick Wong (of neighboring dessert shop Sweet Society and Ichiban Sushi Bar & Grill).
It has been a long time in the making. Patrick first came up with the idea to open a ramen restaurant in 2018. He and his family traveled all around New York and Tokyo to taste different styles of the dish. He trained under nationally acclaimed chefs, including Keizo Shimamoto, the creator of the popular Ramen Burger, and decided to bring authentic Japanese-style ramen back to Baton Rouge.
“When you go to other Japanese restaurants in town, there’s a lot of similar things on the menu,” Patrick says. “We wanted to switch it up.”
The interior of Boru is modern and urban with an Asian flair. On the main entrance wall, local artist Marc Fresh painted an anime-like mural of a coy fish, which represents good luck in Asian culture. Red bubble-shaped lights and decorative, grungy black-metal fencing hang above the bar.
Boru takes standard food ordering up a notch with digital touch screens along the main entrance wall, where customers can order ramen and rice bowls. While diners wait for their food, they can watch ramen come to life in real-time. In a glass room in the center of the restaurant, cooks make ramen noodles from scratch.
The food and drinks are just as authentic and stylish as the interior of the restaurant. Its opening menu features a variety of unique ramen bowls, tasty appetizers and rice bowls.
Appetizers include Shoyu Goma Kyuri, sliced cucumber drizzled with a Shoyu sesame dressing, spicy sesame oil and topped with katsuobushi (dried, fermented and smoked skipjack tuna); Japanese potato salad made from potatoes, sliced cucumbers, carrots, eggs and ham mixed with Kewpie mayonnaise; and blistered Shishito peppers topped with yuzu aioli and katsuobushi.
The ramen bowls at Boru aren’t your average store-bought ramen. From the seasoning to the noodles, every component is made intentionally. The noodles and seasoning are made from scratch. The broth is cooked for 24 hours to extract as much flavor as possible from the pork or chicken bones.
Each bowl is layered with flavors. From spicy to sweet, there’s a bowl for everyone. The Rouge Red Tonkotsu includes tonkatsu (pork) broth, spicy chili oil and thin noodles topped with pork chashu (braised pork), kikurage mushrooms (also known as wood ear), spinach and ajitama (soft-boiled eggs soy-cured for two days).
The Classic Tori Shoyu is made with clear chicken broth, niboshi dashi (anchovy stock), soy sauce, spinach, green onions, chicken oil, and includes one rolled pork chashu and chicken chashu.
The bar plans to serve Asian-inspired drinks like Japanese High Balls (whiskey and soda), Korean Soju (an alcoholic drink typically made from rice or sweet potatoes) cocktails, sake flights and Japanese whiskey.
Boru is still in its beginning stages and plans to continue expanding its menu and hours. In the meantime, its temporary hours are 5-9 p.m. daily. Boru is part of Electric Depot, at 1509 Government St.